This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Back in 2007, Congress funded, and the president signed into law, a new kind of research organization, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E. You had heard of DARPA? This was ARPA-E. And its mission is to back energy technologies that are too risky for investors but offer a potentially huge payoff if they work.
Samuel Taylor was raised in a religious family. When he came out to his mother, Connie Casey, she sent him to a series of conversion therapy ministries affiliated with Exodus International, the Christian organization that folded this month and apologized to the gay community for trying to "correct" same-sex attraction.
Federal regulators are suing former MF Global Holdings CEO Jon Corzine, accusing him of not properly supervising the company that filed for bankruptcy back in 2011. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission says Corzine failed to keep money that belonged to the brokerage's customers from being used to cover MF Global's obligations.
Outgoing acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Steve Miller (right) and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George are sworn in before a full House Ways and Means Committee hearing in May.
Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 11:10 am
Changing its story. Walking it back. Clarifying.
Whatever you call it, the IRS inspector general now has a different account of what investigators knew about the ideologies of the groups that underwent extra scrutiny as they sought tax-exempt status.
Inspector General J. Russell George explained in a letter released Thursday morning that investigators knew all along "progressives" were listed in documents used by IRS agents to screen applications.
High-rise apartment buildings might not seem like fertile ground for making compost.
But officials in New York want to capture and recycle more of the city's food waste — even in some of the nation's most vertical neighborhoods. They're expanding a pilot program that's also trying to encourage composting by turning greenmarkets and libraries into drop-off sites for residents' food waste.
The Senate has passed a sweeping immigration bill, widely seen as the product of the "Gang of 8," a group that includes Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz. (left), and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. The two shook hands before Thursday's final vote.
The Senate approved a sweeping immigration bill Thursday, endorsing a bill that would put millions of immigrants who illegally entered the United States on a path to citizenship. The final vote tally on the bill was 68 in favor, with 32 opposed.
The bill also includes measures that would punish employers who take advantage of immigrant workers, as well as providing billions in spending to employ fences and high-tech tools to help secure the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
All 52 Democratic senators voted for the bill, along with 14 Republicans and two independents.
Twenty percent of strokes hit people under age 65, and the cause of many of those strokes remains a mystery. Having had a concussion or other traumatic brain injury might make the risk of a stroke more likely, a study says.
Back in 2011, researchers in Taiwan had unearthed an association between traumatic brain injury and stroke by combing through hospital records.
It's one of those "Oh, really?" findings that gets scientists itching to check it out themselves.
Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 10:03 am
It's deja vu all over again in Maine.
For the first time in years, a state has acted to allow its citizens to purchase prescription drugs by mail from other countries. The idea is to take advantage of those nations' lower prices, which can be half the cost of those at American pharmacies.
Testimony resumed Thursday in the George Zimmerman trial. One of the state's key witnesses, Rachel Jeantel, was back on the stand for more grueling cross-examination by the defense. She was on the phone with Trayvon Martin just before Zimmerman shot and killed the 17-year-old.
Kremlin allies on Russia's Human Rights Council are having a field day with the case of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. They say the United States is seeking to punish Snowden for advocating government transparency and peoples' right to privacy. In short, after taking criticism from the U.S. over Russia's human rights for decades, Russia is taking the opportunity to dish it out to the U.S. Analysts in Moscow say that regardless of what information Snowden may provide to Russia, his propaganda value is huge.
The Guardian newspaper has released a new leaked document that details how the National Security Agency, after Sept. 11, collected email records. The program targeted foreigners but included Americans. It ended in 2011.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
The battle over a new abortion bill in Texas will resume now that Governor Rick Perry has called a second special legislative session. It's scheduled to begin on Monday. This past Tuesday night, an audience far beyond Texas watched as a Democratic state senator filibustered an anti-abortion bill for 12 hours. When Republicans cut her off, spectators jeered and the chamber erupted in pandemonium.
If conservatives think that the mainstream media has been giving advocates of gay marriage sympathetic coverage, they may have a point. A recent Pew Study, for example, found almost equal amounts of stories giving affirming or neutral coverage of gay marriage, but only a smattering of coverage sympathetic to the arguments of those opposed to it. But journalists are wrestling with aspiring for objectivity, reflecting changes in public mores, and, in many cases, addressing their own sense that gay marriage is a civil right just like interracial marriage was in the 1950s and 1960s.
Student loan rates are set to double on Monday, with Congress not likely to take action before then. The debate now is on how to lower costs for students without needing annual stopgap bills. Such a measure would not pass until mid-July at the earliest and would have to be applied retroactively to undo the coming rate hike.
The Senate gave final approval to a massive immigration overhaul that spends billions on border security, increases the number of legal immigrants and also creates a path to citizenship for the 11 million people who entered illegally.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, we'll talk about college students and Facebook. We've all noticed how much they all seem to love it. But it turns out how they use the social media site varies quite a bit depending on who they are, and that can actually help or hurt their success in school.
Caryn Lantz and her husband Chuck were surprised to learn that costs associated with adopting black children were much lower than for white or mixed race children. They ultimately went with an adoption in which the fee was based on their income, not skin color.
Credit Courtesy of Caryn Lantz
A screen grab detailing the race-based cost differential for children being placed by various agencies. The original page appeared on the website for an adoption consulting group that links potential parents with adoption agencies. This fee structure has been common for some time throughout the adoption system. The group no longer posts this information to the public and asked to remain anonymous.
NPR continues a series of conversations aboutThe Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into those six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition. You can find hundreds of six-word submissions and submit your own at www.theracecardproject.com.
American Chip Starnes, co-owner of Specialty Medical Supplies, waves Monday from a window where he is being held by angry workers inside his plant at the Jinyurui Science and Technology Park on the outskirts of Beijing. He remained confined to the plant on Wednesday.
When Chinese workers have a grievance, they are increasingly taking dramatic and direct action.
As we've reported, an American executive at a Chinese factory has been prevented by workers from leaving the plant since Friday. Chip Starnes of Specialty Medical Supplies says it's a misunderstanding following a decision to shut down part of his medical-supply business and move some jobs to India where wages are lower.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Today, Texas is scheduled to execute the 500th prisoner since the death penalty was reintroduced. We are going to introduce you to Kirk Bloodsworth, who was the first prisoner released from death row 20 years ago because of DNA evidence.
Pretty much every medical organization has told men to back off on screening for prostate cancer, because it can lead to unneeded treatment, including surgery that can leave a man incontinent and impotent.
Edith Windsor is mobbed by journalists and supporters as she leaves the Supreme Court on March 27, when the court heard oral arguments in the case that challenged the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, we want to talk about a new TV show that has people thinking about how Latinas are depicted on TV. We'll head into the beauty shop for that conversation. But first, we are going to turn back once again to the Supreme Court, which released two major rulings today on the issue of same-sex marriage. The court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which has barred federal benefits to same-sex couples.
I've been thinking a lot about forgiveness – a subject that's been coming up quite a bit lately because, really, how could it not?
As I was putting my thoughts together, Paula Deen, one of the queens of high-calorie Southern cookery, was still on her apology tour, trying to explain a few things, like her use of the N-word and the desire to dress up an army of black male waiters so that her brother could have the fun experience of being served by them at a, quote, "true Southern plantation-style wedding."
Plaintiff Edith Windsor of New York waves to supporters in front of the Supreme Court in Washington after the court heard arguments on her Defense of Marriage Act case.
Credit Carolyn Kaster / AP
Michael Knaapen (left) and his husband, John Becker, embrace outside the Supreme Court after news of the justices' ruling. DOMA prohibited married gay couples from receiving the same federal benefits that straight couples are granted.
Credit Mladen Antonov / AFP/Getty Images
The court also cleared the way for gay marriages to resume in California. One of the attorneys in that case, David Boise (center), speaks as he's surrounded by plaintiffs in the case, couples Paul Katami (from left) and Jeff Zarrillo, and Sandy Stier and Kris Perry.
Credit Mark Wilson / Getty Images
Brandon Benoit, Martha Acevedo (left) and Briana Castaneda celebrate the Supreme Court rulings at Equality California, a nonprofit civil rights organization that advocates for the rights of LGBT people.
Credit Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images
Allan Hoyle of North Carolina (center) protests gay marriage outside the Supreme Court.
Credit Carolyn Kaster / AP
At San Francisco's City Hall, supporters of gay marriage celebrate the Supreme Court DOMA ruling.
Credit Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
The Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, in a major victory for supporters of same-sex marriage, who cheered the ruling outside the court.
We usually think of college sports in terms of classic big-time schools, polls and bowls.
But, in fact, our athletics are intertwined with — and complicate — all higher education.
The University of North Carolina, Wilmington provides a typical recent case. The Seahawks field teams in 19 Division One sports, but unfortunately, like many colleges, UNCW athletics are in the red, so the chancellor, Gary L. Miller, assembled a committee, which recommended the elimination of five sports: men's and women's swimming, men's cross country and indoor track and softball.